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Old House Beam Replacement


karen_z's Avatar
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08-30-07, 02:47 PM   #1  
Old House Beam Replacement

Howdy Hearty Professionals! I’ve got a nearly 100 y.o. house with foundation issues, including termite-damaged beams. A structural engineer gave some guidance (piers are ok, fix the wood), so I hired a well-respected and experienced foundation contractor. The plan was to use a phased approach because of rental/sale issues…yada yada. So, a couple of years ago, he did:
Phase 1:
-Excavate crawlspace so it is crawlable (some areas had 2” of dirt to joist clearance, but most everything is accessible with 10” minimum along some outside walls and 18+” in the center areas now)
-Install screw jacks (lally jacks) everywhere the floor needed supporting (16 jacks were placed on top of 2x12x2’ PT wood)
-Termite eaten beams were identified; he said it was $200/linear foot to replace and the plan was to do them later when I had full house access

I’m ready now, so it’s beam time. There are several beams that need to be replaced, some are completely eaten and the others are just continuing to crush themselves onto the piers and cracking the plaster walls above. Now, the guy is telling me that “drop” girders (girder is perpendicular to joists and underneath them) are $200/lf and “inline” girders (girder is perpendicular to joists, but on the same plane as them) are $400/lf. Well, I’ve got "inline” throughout. I’m looking for some sort of sanity check on $400/lf here…'cuz it sounds ridiculous to me! And, I’ve been wondering if a regular contractor or framer could fix this? It will involve a lot of crawling in areas <20” - do they do this? With up to 40+' of beam that could be replaced (probably only 1/3 of this is urgently needed), we're talking alot of $.

I’ve been reading the forum archives and there’s a lot of terrific info about how to replace the beams. Even the foundation guy says “it’s not rocket science” and that it just takes time and work. What do you all think?

 
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karen_z's Avatar
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09-05-07, 06:18 AM   #2  
Ok, maybe a cost question is out of the scope of this board, so let me ask a real how-to question.

The beam that needs replacing is under an outside wall...except an addition was put on later, so this former outside wall is actually inside now. And, since we've ripped up the addition's floor (and now have a huge hole into the crawlspace), you can actually see most of the bad beam. But, the joists on both sides run parallel to this beam.

Question: How does one support the floor when there are no joists to support while the beam is replaced?

All of the how-to's talk about how to replace the beam when the joists are perpendicular to the beam not 16" away and parallel. How do they do this?

 
bigjax's Avatar
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09-09-07, 02:45 PM   #3  
[QUOTE=karen_z;1225257]Ok, maybe a cost question is out of the scope of this board, so let me ask a real how-to question.

The beam that needs replacing is under an outside wall...except an addition was put on later, so this former outside wall is actually inside now. And, since we've ripped up the addition's floor (and now have a huge hole into the crawlspace), you can actually see most of the bad beam. But, the joists on both sides run parallel to this beam.

Question: How does one support the floor when there are no joists to support while the beam is replaced?

All of the how-to's talk about how to replace the beam when the joists are perpendicular to the beam not 16" away and parallel. How do they do this?

Those decisions are better left to the man doing the job and can see the actual structure in front of him,
Bigjax

 
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09-13-07, 01:32 PM   #4  
Thanks for reply, bigjax. Yeah, it does sound complicated, but maybe I can simplify the question so I can understand how this procedure works.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but a beam either has:
-Joists perpendicular to it
-Joists parallel to it

Right?

So, Beam Replacement Procedures are:
-When the joists are perpendicular: Put a temporary beam under (and perpendicular) to the joists on both sides of beam. Replace beam. Remove temp beam.
-When the joists are parallel: ???

I've seen how-to articles and books describing the temp beam procedure for perpendicular joists, but nothing for the other. I mean, is a beam with parallel joist only holding up a sill plate and the wall above it? If so, how do you support the wall while you replace the beam underneath?

Thanks!

 
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09-15-07, 07:07 AM   #5  
Well if i was standing there looking over what is there,i would first find out what that wall in question has attached to it some where along the line,(could be another beam or beams comming into it that carrie those joists running parrellel with the wall), or if the joists run all the way across.Then figure out what the extent of the rot is and make a plan for a fix after that.
big jax

 
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09-21-07, 06:38 AM   #6  
Thank you, Bigjax, for taking the time to explain things.

 
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09-24-07, 12:52 PM   #7  
So how is progress going on your home,do you have any pictures to post....
bigjax

 
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